I love the idea of minimalism.
Clutter stresses me out but I also really easily get emotionally attached to my possessions. That, coupled with my natural laziness, does not make minimalism come naturally, but it can be done!
There are so many ways to live ‘minimally’ and my favourite way to think about it is a way of living intentionally. Make room in your life for the things that bring joy to it. If you want to simplify your life but have no idea where to start, here are the three easiest ways I’ve found to introduce minimalism into your life.
If you want to simplify your life but have no idea where to start, here are the three easiest ways I’ve found to introduce minimalism into your life.
Stop Saving Things for ‘Best’
Before I started travelling, I had all sorts of things that I was saving because I felt they were too nice to use on any old day. Candles, outfits, toiletries, expensive wine and even notebooks. Usually, these were gifts and I wanted to wait for the perfect moment to use them. But now, I wear all my nice clothes whenever I like, I’ve stopped waiting for the perfect thing to write in the notebooks and when it comes to fancy wine… unless you put it on a really high shelf, I’m drinking it!
Introduce something special into ordinary days and they’ll become a little less ordinary. Burn that candle your best friend gave you for your birthday and enjoy it. Drink the wine you brought home from holiday because it’ll invoke all those great memories and wine is awesome. Make room in your life for the special things because you deserve them- no effort required.
Declutter your Digital Life
Okay, so maybe you don’t want to physically declutter your whole house. If you’re lazy like me, even the tiniest bit of organisation will soothe your soul and make you feel all zen. Honestly, if all my clothes are on hangers in the wardrobe, I feel like the most Accomplished Person in the World.
A good place to start decluttering is your digital space because you can do it without getting out of bed. Some simple things to do:
- Unlike all those terrible joke Facebook pages that you ‘liked’ in 2010.
- Unfollow and unfriend any random strangers or companies that clog up your news feed.
- Go through your bookmarks and delete all those articles you’re never going to read. This is totally the modern version of throwing out old newspapers.
- Arrange your photos into folders and delete duplicates. If you’re feeling particularly productive, you could even name them.
- Update your privacy settings on social media.
- Delete all those apps you don’t use. I found Shazam on my phone the other day. Seriously.
- Delete old emails and unsubscribe from things in your ‘promotions’ tab. I don’t need a weekly email to get me to eat Dominos pizza. Unroll.me is an awesome way to unsubscribe from email newsletters and promotions in bulk.
- If you read loads of blogs, set up an RSS feed, so new articles are all in one place. I use feedly.
Even though you won’t have created any physical space, completing the above list is an easy introduction to cutting things out of your life and can help ease you into decluttering your home.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
There’s a really extreme method of decluttering called the Packing Party, where you box up every single thing you own and only remove things as and when you need them. After a period of time, everything still in boxes is sold or recycled. Unless you’re moving house or really, really dedicated, this would be impossibly hard- especially in a busy household.
What has been useful to me while travelling is a similar but much less intense method. Whenever I’m staying somewhere for more than a couple of weeks, I only unpack clothes as I wear them. Anything I haven’t thought about or needed is donated before I move on to the next place (unless it’s something only required occasionally- like a raincoat!) That way I only keep the outfits I love wearing and I keep weight down in my backpack. Yes, these are the things I tell myself when I’m too lazy to unpack a damn bag.
You can still do this even if you’re not travelling! Packing your clothes out of sight means you have to really think about what outfits you want to wear. You’re not going to consider unpacking and wearing anything uncomfortable, impractical or not your style. Even if you can’t bring yourself to get rid of anything at the end of it, it’s a good way of getting an idea of what your natural style is and what types of clothes you’re drawn to. That knowledge will help you make great choices next time you’re shopping.